Translations of Faiz and Makhdoom

Arzoo – A Wish
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Translated from the Urdu by Abid Ahmad

Mujhay maujazoN pay yaqeeN nahiN magar aarzoo hay kay jab qaza
mujhay bazm-e-dehr say lay chalay
to phir aik baar ye izn day
kay lehad say laut kay aa sakooN
teray dar pay aa kay sada karooN
tujhay gumgusar ki ho talab to teray huzoor maiN aa rahooN
ye na ho to soo-e-adum maiN phir aik baar rawana hooN

I have no faith in miracles
Yet do I earnestly desire that
Even after death whisks me away from this world
It lets me return from my grave
Just for once
To appear at your doorstep
to be the one to share your grief
If it be not so
I will quietly glide back
Into the oblivion of eternity.

Qaid / Incarceration by Makhdoom MohiuddinIncarceration but not the period of incarceration
Oppression but not a complaint against the oppression, nor its redressal
Night, its stillness and loneliness
Far away from the ramparts of assembly
From the depth of the city’s heart
Comes the echo of the tolling bell
The mind starts
The flame of breathing quivers
The candle of the night of my imagination is awakened
And each moment of life is recollected
Crowds of men on highways and in streets
And their brisk steps
Wrinkles of confusion on their foreheads
Regret of the past
And anxiety of the future
In their looks
Hundreds and thousands of people
Hundreds and thousands of steps
Beating hearts of hundreds and thousands of people
Sad with the oppression of the ruler
Exhausted with the persecution of politics
Who knows
At what crossroads
Do they become an explosion suddenly
Hope of youth
Depressed and compelled for decades
Tied to the chains
Goes to sleep
Clinking of the chains
While changing the sides
Speaks of the hustle of life
In my dreams
I regret that my precious life was wasted in prison
And not in the prison of the freedom of my motherland.

Abid Ahmad is a Srinagar-based writer and translator. He has two books to his credit – Modern Kashmiri Poetry: A Selection and Crescendo.

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